India — Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:17 pm on 18th December 2008.

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Photo of Baroness Cox Baroness Cox Crossbench 2:17 pm, 18th December 2008

My Lords, when I won the ballot, I felt some apprehension at the challenge of addressing the complexity, and indeed the rich diversity, of the land that is the subject of today's debate. However, when I saw the list of speakers, my anxieties were immediately allayed, because I knew that they would bring such wide-ranging expertise and personal experience that it would create a debate that was a rich amalgam of informed concern, constructive criticism and warm appreciation of India's rich history and the achievements of a modern, secular democracy. Indeed, my expectations were fully fulfilled. It is also a great delight that this should be the first debate over which the noble Lord, Lord Paul, has presided as a new Deputy Speaker, and I join others in congratulating him on his new position. I am also extremely grateful to the Minister for the way in which he has addressed so many of the questions and issues that have been raised so comprehensively.

In conclusion, I warmly thank all noble Lords for making the debate truly significant—a debate which I hope will be received by our Indian friends as an indication, indeed proof, of real friendship, a friendship that has been cherished for so long and which we will continue to cherish. I hope that the debate will contribute to that friendship. I beg leave to withdraw the Motion.

Motion withdrawn.